Collaboration with Ai Build to test AiSync slicing software

Ai Build is a British software company that works with a network of innovative clients, partners and investors to bring our cutting edge technology into a wide range of industrial applications.

WASP has a partnership with AI Build to test non-planar slicing on Delta WASP 3MT Industrial 4.0.

WASP HUB in Milan SuperForma, the testing produced good results.

Watch video here: https://fb.watch/c5bpIxol67/

Software AiSync for non-planar slicing

With AiSync software it is about multi-axis 3D printing which unlike traditional 3D printing software produces multi-axis toolpaths that are not constrained by slicing layers.

AiSync is compatible with Delta WASP 3MT Industrial 4.0 large 3D printer


3d printed vase with grasshopper, the main feature is the not planar slicing

3D Printing with Grasshopper

What is Grasshopper?

Grasshopper is a Rhino Plug-in, famous 3D modeling software used in Design and Architecture. It is a powerful tool for algorithmic modeling and It is used to generate complex shapes through parameters.

Coding experience is not required and It can be visualized through a nodes diagram that describes mathematical and geometrical relationships in a model. You can also 3d print with Grasshopper, in the next chapter we see how to create a model and his gcode.

Grasshopper nodes diagram example
Example of a nodes diagram done to better control parameters of a model

The main advantages of Grasshopper modeling are:

  • shapes generated from data
  • parametric patterns
  • variable series

In Grasshopper you can generate shapes starting from data: the benefit of this process is the possibility to change almost endlessly the geometry, simply changing parameters values.

In fact, parameters are associated to different sizes of the model and varying them you can obtain real-time changing of the geometry. This function is especially useful when you work with complex shapes, because it permits to make changes without canceling and restarting your design.

Why Grasshopper for 3d printing?

Because a LDM (liquid slicing software) dedicated slicing software doesn't exist and Grasshoper offers a lot of advantages to custom the 3d print of a model:

  • custom infill
  • using open objects
  • work with intersections
  • creation of patterns
  • choose the route of the extruder

3D Printing directly by Grasshopper

It is possible to print the model directly by Grasshopper, bypassing other Slicing Software. To get the gcode, It is necessary a process where the model is deconstructed in polylines and then in point with X Y Z coordinates: they will be the commands of the printer extruder. This process permits to customize the print and create for example not-planar slicing, where layers have different heights.

Difference from other slicing softwares

Unlike common slicing software that slice the stl model in equal horizontal layers, with Grasshopper we have the possibility to better control extruder movements. Generate the gcode inside grasshopper gives the opportunity to change a lot of parameters that are usually not available.

3d printed vase with grasshopper, the main feature is the not planar slicing
Not planar slicing

We have the complete control of the object that we want to create, from the modeling part to the final print. We can print following the isocurves of the model, operation not possible with common softwares like Cura or Simplify: here the slicing doesn’t depend on the shape or the geometry of the model. 

Grasshopper offers a lot of possibilities, you only need to learn!

Learn how to 3d print with Grasshopper: the first guide

To better learn how to 3d print directly with grasshopper, there is the first guide entirely dedicated to the topic: Advanced 3D Printing with Grasshopper, Clay and FDM. authors of the book are diego garcìa cuevas, CEO of Controlmad, Architect expert in digital manufacturing and gianluca pugliese, founder of lowpoly and manager of wasp iberia.

Cover of the book for 3d printing with Grasshopper

Pages of the book for 3d printing with grasshopper

Advanced 3d printing with grasshopper

All the models inside the book are printed with Delta WASP Clay 2040 for clay's objects and Delta WASP 2040 Pro for plastic's objects.

You can use all WASP printers models (like Delta WASP 4070 or Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0), achieving the same optimal results. It is really recommended to use the book with these printers to get the most similar results to the objects in the book.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gItvW5NMmR8&ab_channel=diegogarciacuevas

Inside the book there are step by step instructions to learn how to generate optimized gcode for the model created on Grasshopper. Inside it there are specific and detailed infos that you can’t find on YouTube tutorials, like the vase mode print.

Philip Stankard post on 3d printed objects generated with Grasshopper

In this LinkedIn post, Philip Stankard, Lead Industrial Designer in 3M Design at Minneapolis, shares the unicity of the bok written by Diego ad Gianluca. This underlines the value of the book's content, a collection of experiences that you can't find anywhere else.

Learning from experts thanks to WASP Academy

If you are interested in 3d printing with Grasshopper, you can attend our courses at WASP Academy. Our experts will follow you with specific lessons in the learning and experimental process. Inside Grasshopper Workshop you will learn how to design for 3D printing, how to use parametric design features to create unique surfaces. You will learn how to transform your project in gcode and you will be shown examples to better comprehend the process.

Grasshopper Workshop is addressed to people that know the software and are skilled with clay 3d printing. If you want to learn how to 3D print before the Grasshopper Workshop, these are propaedeutic courses:

The courses, due to Covid Emergency, take place entirely online and they are available in english and italian. Check the site to keep informed about the all the courses and the dates!


Simplify3D® compatible with all the WASP's 3D printers

Simplify3D® Software

Improve your print quality with the most powerful 3D printing software available. Simplify3D® provides complete control over your print settings, making it easier than ever to create high-quality 3D prints.
Start up quickly with pre-configured settings optimized for WASP 3D printers, review a simulation of your build sequence in the Preview Mode, and begin your 3D print with confidence. Total control means amazing 3D prints!

Simplify3D® Software is now available in our shop

  • The product is an electronic download that is emailed following your purchase.
  • The software is cross platform and can be installed on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux systems.
  • The software is viewable in English, German, Spanish, Japanese, French or Italian.
  • System Requirements: Intel Pentium 4 or higher processor, 2GB or more of RAM. Windows XP or greater, Mac OS X 10.6 or greater, Ubuntu Linux 12.10 or greater. OpenGL 2.0 capable system. An internet connection is required for the installation and continued use of the software.

Simplify3D® Software and Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0

Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0 and Simplify3D® is a perfect match! The Simplify3D license is included with the purchase of our Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0 3D printer.
Expand your printing options with Simplify3D®, the powerful 3D printing software that gives you total control for amazing 3D prints.


Online 3D Printing

What is the online 3D printing service

If you do not have a 3d printer, but you have a project in mind pr an idea to be implemented in three dimensions, you can use an online 3d printing service. The procedure is very simple: you have to send the project to the reference site, or upload it directly to the site, specify specifications and preferences (materials, color etc.); the company takes charge of it, analyzes if the project is achievable and its costs and it proposes a quote. Prices can be variable. If the customer accepts it, the company realizes the object in 3d with its own printers and sends it to the customer within the required time. Most companies make the printed object starting from a definitive 3d drawing, it is possible that the service activities also have an internal design section. Generally, creating an object in 3D and printing it are two different activities and the service hardly associates them. It is necessary to go to the printing service with a 3d drawing ready to be printed, the processing of the file or the correction of some errors in the drawing could have an additional management cost. The format generally required is the .stl.

prototipazione

Who offers the 3d printing service on the web

There are several companies that offer 3d printing service on the web, at usually affordable prices. The main ones are Sculpteo, Shapeways, Ponoko, i.materialise, 3dhubs, e gli italiani Italy Maker, Addictive 3d, Cad online, Vectorealism.

What can be printed in 3d on the internet

Through an online 3d printing service you can print anything you want, from household items to parts of professional projects, even if people normally turn to services of this kind for medium-sized objects. Companies are equipped to print with numerous materials, such as plastic, ceramic, stainless steel, silver, resins, and with various printing technologies.

3d photo printing

It is possible to print 3d models starting from 2d photographs. This video illustrates the process:

There are several specific software to manage this process, such as Neitra 3d or AutoDesk 123 Catch, a free software that can be installed on a Windows PC or as a free application for iPad, capable of processing a group of photographs of an object, and modeling them in 3d. Autodesk also provides tools to print the object in 3D or physically recreate it, but this is a service that you have to pay for.

There is a widespread belief that it is possible to recreate a 3d design starting from a single photograph, now this is not possible unless you are now a very good 3d modeler who have to imitate and interpret, for example, the features of a face. What it can be done with a single photo is a sort of bas relief or lithophane placing the image in grayscale. The lighter colors will be reproduced in print with a few layers, the darker areas instead will be created with multiple layers. In this way, looking at the object printed in backlight, you could see the image of the photograph.

3d printer software

Three types of software are needed to create and to print 3d models: 3d modeling / CAD software, slicing and interface software. There are many types, and it's easy to find an open source one. CAD are the programs used to design and create digital 3D objects, they are divided into categories: solid modeling software, including Google SketchUp, Autodesk 123D, TinkercadBlender; and sculptural modeling software, such as Scultptris, to create virtual sculptures through the concept of clay modeling; finally there are the parametric modeling software, which allow you to combine different shapes with each other, such as OpenSCADGrasshopper Rhinoceros.

The slicing / CAM programs convert 3d models into mechanical commands: in that way the 3d printer will be able to understand what it must do and how it must move through a specific code, called G-code; among the most used we mention Slic3rCura and Skeinforge, that was one of the first programs created by the RepRap community. Finally, the interface software is the printer control program: it is used to give instructions to the machine, launch the print, block it, manage the parameters, for example the temperature, and so on; the most used in this category are Repetier-Host and Printrun. Often these programs are no longer used because, as in our case, printers have an interface screen where you can operate directly on the machine.

cad stampa 3d

Rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping is a set of industrial techniques aimed at the physical realization of the prototype, in short times, starting from a three-dimensional mathematical definition of the object (CAD). Prototypes are essential in every step of the product development process, to verify that a model corresponds to the real object or to perform tests of form, suitability and functionality. The online 3d printing services also offer the creation of prototypes in different materials, such as plastic or resin, at different costs depending on the material, the complexity of the project and the dimensions: it is a rapid and effective process that reduces the risk of errors in the productions, and it allows frequent reviews and checks.


Open source 3D printer

Open source 3D printer software

Let's start from the beginning: 3d printing is makers kingdom, and it's often used in do-it-yourself, but obviously, before actually creating the object shape,  you have to start with a pc design software in order to create digital 3d objects. For 3d models you need three kind of software: 3d modeling/CAD software, slicing and Client software. You can find many, and open source 3d printers software are quite common.

software per stampanti 3d open source

CAD are software used to design and create digital 3d objects. There are different types, and each one works differently: the solid modeling software are most suitable for mechanical parts, including free ones like Google SketchUp, Autodesk 123D, TinkercadBlender; the sculptural modeling software are useful to achieve figures, faces, human parts, natural objects because they allow to sculpt the basic three-dimensional shapes, for example with the free software Sculptris virtual sculptures can be realized through the concept of clay modeling clay; finally, we have the parametric modeling software, which allow to combine different forms between them, defining in a very precise way each minimum variation due to the setting of the parameters (among open source we mention OpenSCAD and Grasshopper). Rhinoceros is one of the software we use more, it is not open source but there is a trial version, then you can buy it with student license at a very fair price.

The slicing/CAM programs convert 3d models in mechanical controls, thanks to which the 3d printer will be able to figure out what to do and how it must move through a specific code, called G-code. Slic3r is one of the most used CAM open source, flexible and frequently updated, created by Alessandro Ranellucci, a guru of Italian making; Cura, from Ultimaker, has streamlined interface and many utilities; Skeinforge is one of the first software created by RepRap community.

Client software is the printer control program: it is used to give instructions to the machine, start printing, lock, manage parameters such as temperature, and so on. The most well-known open source software are Repetier-Host (which also provides the possibility to run the 3d model slicing) and Printrun. But we must say that often the client software are not necessary as the majority of 3d printers can receive commands of the G-code files through SD-card and USB-pen.

Open source projects for 3D printers

There are many web sites where you can download templates for 3d printers ready for use, for free: Thingiverse is the largest website for sharing 3d printing objects projetcs created by users. It provides mainly hardware open source projects; you can choose to distribute your contributions under GNU or Creative Commons license. This does not mean that open source is completely free because there are some rules to follow when they are released.

Thingiverse projects may seem simple objects related to the world of DIY, but actually mechanisms that govern their creation and implementation have a very high technological value. Pioneer was the RepRap project with MakerBot, a company that produces an open source 3d printer for rapid prototyping called Cupcake (we bought and mounted it!), that incorporates RepRap project ideas. Other similar web sites-communities are YouMagine, initiated by a company, Ultimaker, which like MakerBot started with the production of open source 3d printers, GrabCAD, with a large quantity of freely downloadable 3d models created by a group of engineers, Instructables, a community where users share models DIY, among them 3D models, and even 3D Hacker3DVIAShaper.

Best open source 3D printer

One of the most appreciated open source 3d printers, part of RepRap project, is Prusa i3 MK2S. It is sold with a DIY kit to assemble or pre-assembled. The cost is around 700 euros. Designed by the Czech maker Josef Prusa, the Prusa i3 was presented to the RepRap community in 2012. The MK2S is its evolution, with a volume of 31% larger than the original, coming to 250x210x200 mm, a new print bed HeatBed MK42 and a print speed of 40% higher.

Among the various 3d printing DIY projects, we want to point out the printer projected by some Tuscan makers fa)(a 3D, a modular and fully editable printer with the particularity of levitation: the X and Y axes contain neodymium magnets realizing a real magnetic levitation that reduces friction to a minimum during printing, lightening the load on the engine and favoring the printer acceleration. We, from

Delta WASP Open
Delta WASP Open

downWasp, have realized the Delta WASP Open, and we have released drawings and instructions: if you want to try to build it you can download it here and do not forget to give us your feedback in order to update the source models and sharing them.

What is Arduino project

Arduino was born in 2005  at Interaction Design Institute of Ivrea. Arduino is a small electronic card, fits in the palm of a hand. More precisely, the website says, it is "an open source electronics platform based on hardware and software easy to use". It is a programmable hardware platform, a processor that reads an input and returns output, usable and editable by anyone, with which you can create many types of circuits, especially in the field of robotics and automation.

We could say that Arduino does whatever we want him to do: the automation of the lights in the home or small appliances to the creation of complex scientific projects, since it is compatible with all existing sensors. For these reasons it has had a worldwide spread in several areas, domestic, educational, professional and industrial: this is a real revolution.

We thank Arduino staff for the great contribution to open source digital revolution.

Cos’è il progetto Arduino

3d printing is one of Arduino applications area, when it comes to open source 3d printers or printer kit DIY. Materia 101 is Arduino 3d printer, developed together with Sharebot and designed to make the 3d printing accessible even to beginners, as well as, of course, open source.


3D printer filament

3D printer filament

3D printer filament

3D printer filament
3D printer filament

There are many different types of filament for 3D printers, and it's important to choose the right ones for your printer and for the object that you are trying to build. We are talking about one of the most common 3D printing technologies: FFF - Fused Filament Fabrication -, a 3d printing process that uses a continuous filament of a thermoplastic material. Filament types change for composition, fusion temperature and kind of polymer; some types of filament are easier to use, others meet specific characteristics for a professional use.

PLA is one of the most common types of filament: cheap and strong, neutral and bio-compatible, melt around 215-225 degrees, not difficult to use, but quite rigid. Also ABS is extremely popular in 3D printing: ABS filament is very durable, has a shiny surface and resists to quite high temperatures. On the other side, it generally emanates a bad smell during the printing process and needs a heated plate. The range of materials is wide, here we are focusing on some products divided and described mainly according to the purpose of use.

Treed Filaments and FiloAlfa
Treed Filaments and FiloAlfa

There is also to say that 3D printer filament industry is constantly developing: new filament testing proceeds rapidly and the market offers many advanced features. Here are some of the new filaments produced by TreeD Filaments chosen by Wasp and divided into categories of use: the company itself categorizes them according to the destination; it means that the user doesn't need to have a specific technical knowledge.

Technical 3D printer filament

3d Treed Filaments and FiloAlfa
3d Treed Filaments and FiloAlfa

ABS WASP

"BS" doesn't stand for "bad smell", you can read in the product description. Indeed, a special formulation kills down all the bad smells typical of ABS filament. ABS WASP is a polymer known for its toughness, brilliance and tactile feeling, used in many areas, from domestic ones, such as appliance’s shells and gears, to industrial. Pay attention to rays of sunshine: they weaken and ruin ABS, so better avoid to use it for outdoors.

Carbon fiber filament

This filament is made in fiber, not powder: a fundamental feature that makes it perfect for high-end mechanical applications, thanks to its high tensile modulus. Carbonium is strong but light, for this reason it is widely used in extreme sports. It doesn't quickly absorb water molecules present in the air, so you don't need to dry it before use.

G-PET, PETG

Stiff like an ABS without warping, thanks to its flexibility. G-PET is similar to bottles PET, without glycol adding. It has a good mechanical strength and high toughness. Shiny finish your objects, or get a translucent look with natural color. With a great chemical resistance, GPET is well indicated for bottles and containers.

ASA

ASA is the outdoor dedicated filament: no worries about sunlight anymore. ASA  is an ASA polymer (Acrylonitrile, Styrene, Acrylate), a material with an exceptional mechanical resistance with a matte finish that lets you play with post processing. Prints like an ABS: heated bed or enclosed chamber recommended.

Eco-friendly 3D printer filament

3d Treed Filaments and FiloAlfa
3d Treed Filaments and FiloAlfa

Kyotoflex

Here we are in the world of eco-friendly and easy-to-use filament. Kyotoflex is a very flexible polymer, with good elongation, and biodegradable. Easy to print, even on bowden extruders, it has a very low hygroscopy: no need to worry about humidity anymore.

Ecogenius

Ecogenius is an ecological PLA, because it is petroleum-free. Obtained exclusively from plants, it is totally recyclable. It has a natural glossy finishing, so it will naturally shine out your objects, and it can withstand UV light, therefore it doesn’t change its color over time.

Shogun

Shogun is extremely resistant, but at the same time is as easy to print as a standard PLA. No warping and no heated bed required.  Shogun is a truly biodegradable polymer, according to EN13432 rule. It can withstand high temperatures, up to 90°C without losing its shape.

TREED HIPS

This filament is made by a material very similar to ABS, frequently used for food packaging and disposable tableware. It has a good resistance to impacts an a deformation capacity that can exceed the 40% of its volume. HIPS completely dissolves if immersed in Limonene.

Another company produces filaments used by Wasp: FiloAlfa. It also offers many products, made with different polymers. Let's take a look at some of them.

FiloAlfa 3D PLA

This is a PLA filament, in Black colour (but you can find it also in white!). It has a good mechanical resistance and it is easy to print. Completely non-toxic and odourless up to high temperatures.

FiloAlfa FiloFlex

An incredible gummy filament derived from automotive industry. It is very flexible and, as a rubber, it perfectly absorbs impacts. Moreover, compared to other polymers it has a better UV rays resistance.


3D printing materials

ASA, ABS, PLA, Nylon, polycarbonate, composed materials

3D printing materials

Materiali per Stampa 3D

Which materials does a 3D printer use, and which ones should I choose? Approaching this world, this is one of the first questions coming on mind. Different 3d printing materials change with the kind of 3d printing technology. Once again we are focusing on FFF - Fused Filament Fabrication (or FDM - Fused Deposition Modeling), that means printing objects through the melting of 3d printer filament made by polymers, because this is the easiest technique. Filament, usually with a diameter between 3 and 1.75 mm, is heated by a resistance and, passing through a nozzle, it lays down layer after layer taking the shape of the object that we are printing. So let's go into the substance of the main materials used for this technology, analyzing differences and applications.

ABS

ABS and PLA are the most widespread 3D printing materials. They are two thermoplastic polymers: it means that they become flexible and manipulable at high temperatures and go back to solid cooling down (reversible process). The choice between these two materials is an eternal dilemma. There are hundreds of supporters fighting for each cause, but it doesn't mean that it's not possible to draw up precise features that distinguish the two polymers. The truth is that for a good choice you should just try both ABS and PLA, using them depending on what you want to do.

ABS filaments (Acrylonitrile, Styrene, Acrylate) can be used to create light and rigid objetcs, like, for example, Lego bricks, parts of car body, hydraulic tubes, musical instruments like flutes or clarinets. ABS derives from petroleum. It is soluble in acetone (so you can sand it with a brush, or weld different pieces with few drops of fluid).

Strengths: lightness, strength, durability, resistance to high temperatures (up to 100 degrees), easy to use and to reuse, good flexibility.

Weaknesses: bad smell and toxic fumes, need a heated plate, easily warping.

Discover more about 3D printing of PP in our Materials Guide.

ASA

Structurally similar to ABS, filament ASA (Acrylonitrile, Styrene, Acrylate) resists to UV rays and water: so, getting old, it doesn't get that typical yellowish colour (for this reason it is frequently used for outdoor furniture and objetcs).

PLA

 

PLA (polylactic acid) is made by a polymer derived from vegetable products processing, including corn. Naturally transparent, it can be painted, made matte or shiny. For this reason, PLA filaments are suitable for artistic and aesthetic uses, small domestic objetcs or for educational purpose in the schools. Its solvent is caustic soda.

Strenghts: ecological (vegetal origin, compostable in industrial structures), it can be extruded at lower temperatures (doesn't need heated plate), low warping, transparent look.

Weaknesses: less strong, more rigid, it begins to deteriorate at 60 degrees.

Discover more about 3D printing of PLA in our Materials Guide.

PET-G

PET-G is part of the PET family (Polyethylene terephthalate), it’s a very common plastic for industrial use especially in the packaging business(bottles).
In 3D printing, PET-G filaments are very diffused for being quite easy to print with better mechanical properties than PLA.

Strenghts: good mechanical proprieties, discrete performances at high temperatures, relatively low-cost, also transparent.

Weaknesses: frequent defects on parts (stringing, small holes), limited mechanical performances.

Discover more about 3D printing of PET-G in our Materials Guide.

Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most commonly used plastics for industrial production, with an outstanding range of different applications. It’s appreciated for the ability of working without breaking and for its resistance to chemicals.
The applications are many: containers, labels, tape but also a lot in the chemical and biomedical field.

Strenghts: tenacity of the parts, chemical resistance, smooth finishing, good for contacts with liquid, food, skin.

Weaknesses: extreme shrinking during the print, hard to manage complex shapes.

Discover more about 3D printing of PP in our Materials Guide.

Nylon

The main benefit of Nylon is its resistance: it is much more stronger than previous polymers. Flexible and durable, it melts at high temperatures, often more than 250 degrees. Part of the synthetic polyamide family, it was originally used in textile production. Its main lack is the tendence to warping, like ABS (also with Nylon you need heated plate). Moreover, you must dry it very well before printing, because it easily absorbs water, even from the air: better dry it in the oven for few hours.

TPU and TPE

Thermoplastic elastomers are polymers that put together the characteristics of rubbers with the processability of thermoplastic polymers. Two common thermoplastic elastomers are TPU and TPE.
These materials can be easily pigmented and they are long-lasting thanks to their great elasticity and resistance to abrasion.
The applications are wide from objects of everyday use to specific products for the biomedical field.

Strenghts: elasticity, softness, many colors, long-lasting.

Weaknesses: some complexities during the print, relatively low speed.

Discover more about 3D printing of TPU-TPE in our Materials Guide.

Polycarbonate (PC)

Polycarbonate is very resistent to warmth. It is often used as electrically insulating, in medical application and in some mechanical parts of mobile phones. It easily warps, so you always need a heated plate. It is one of the most tough and resistant material. It melts above 260-270 degrees.

Strenghts: very resistant parts, translucid, good performance at high temperature, rigid parts.

Weaknesses: high processing temperatures, sensible to moisture (hygroscopic), relatively expansive.

Discover more about 3D printing of PC in our Materials Guide.

Composed materials

Composed materials for 3d printing are products made by the combination of two or more materials from different origins, of which at least one made by fibre. Assembling different materials allows to improve thermal and mechanical performance and also rigidity. One of the most common composed material is polyamide with glass fibre, that needs, however, 50% of fibre at least. Another composed material, that guarantees high performances with lower percentages, is the one made on carbon fibres.

Strenghts: very stiff parts, nice matt finishing, good permormance at high temperature, easy to print.

Weaknesses: extremely hygroscopic, the fibers inside make it abrasive (also for the nozzle).

Discover more about 3D printing of PA Carbon in our Materials Guide.